This is from a note I wrote on facebook in October 2010. I wanted it to be part of my blog. Sorry if this is a repeat for you!
The Midwest has proven to be an unusually nice place to raise a family. Everything here is pretty moderate (well, except the weather). Tempers are tame, foul language is kept at bay, the food isn’t spicy, housing is pretty affordable, everyone is generally nice. But good grief if that doesn’t bore this former east coaster to tears sometimes.
We have, since we moved, here made it a practice to leave the state once a year to keep ourselves sane and remind ourselves that we don’t actually live in Pleasantville. That there is the real world out there with passionate people willing to speak their minds and tell you how it is. Yes, I actually miss that. Sometimes life here in the burbs of Minneapolis feels a little like the Truman show.
I got honked at the other day. It startled me really badly. No one ever honks their horns. My heart started racing and I was mad. I felt ALIVE! I know it sounds funny, but really, you can’t know unless you have lived it. Nice isn’t always better.
The kids are becoming fully indoctrinated to the midwest way of life and to the Minnesota nice. Getting them to speak their minds is a losing battle. I have stopped trying to fight it. It’s my own fault. I moved them here. I can’t hope to raise straight-forward, vivacious Jersey girls and boy 1,200 miles from the ocean, from New York and from all things “Eye-talian”. No, if we stay here my kids will grow up nice, mild-tempered Scandinavians (except for their brown hair, though Hannah even has that right) who don’t hug each other when they meet, and think going to the cabin is the best thing this side of heaven. And I guess that is good, though it feels a bit like a resignation. There is no risk in it. Growing up in Minnesota, there is a really good chance you’ll turn out right and decent, though probably not dynamic. And maybe that is my sorrow. I kinda want my kids to be effervescent dynamos who say what they mean, mean what they say, and go after what they want. Or at least I want them to be a part of a culture that teaches them to believe that sometimes it’s ok to do so.